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New (free) Performance Dashboard for SQL Server 2005 SP2

Note: This blog post is from 2007. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily. Same with links and subsequent comments from myself or others. Corrections are welcome, in the comments. And I may revise the content as necessary.
Those using SQL Server 2005 may want to take note of a new "Dashboard Report" option for SP2, to help monitor and resolve performance problems, including capturing diagnostic info when a problem is detected.

Common performance problems that the dashboard reports may help to resolve include:

  • CPU bottlenecks (and what queries are consuming the most CPU)
  • IO bottlenecks (and what queries are performing the most IO).
  • Index recommendations generated by the query optimizer (missing indexes)
  • Blocking
  • Latch contention

The report is an extension of the Custom Reports feature introduced in the SQL Server 2005 SP2 release of SQL Server Management Studio. Note that Reporting Services does not need to be installed.

The reports retrieve info from dynamic management views. They don't poll performance counters or require tracing be enabled. They also do not store a history of performance over time. So it's a lightweight (yet powerful) monitoring option.

You can get the extension itself at:

Performance Dashboard Reports

There's also a complete article about how to install it from Black Belt Administration: Performance Dashboard for Microsoft SQL Server, Part I , at Database Journal (and from which I obtained the image above).

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Whoa, that's a very cool add-on.. Thanks for the link Charlie :)
Anyone restoring database backups on SQL Server 2005 may also find this useful.

Charlie, this looks really good. But I have SQL Server 2005 SP2 64 bit. Will this work for me? Also, in my environment, the database and the reporting servers are separated in two different servers. How do I go about this? Please help. I would like to use this tool.
# Posted By JayBonSang | 6/10/08 4:18 PM
@Jay, I'm afraid I can't answer your question, since I'm not running 64 bit (nor a split SS/RS server). I can tell you that the MS page I link to does say "Reporting Services is not required to be installed to use the Performance Dashboard Reports." It doesn't list 64-bit under requirements--but that may mean that no specific -bit level is required. I'm afraid I need to refer you to ask/seek your answer via other MS resources. Sorry I can't be of more help.

One other thing: have you simply tried it? Seems worth giving it a go. Maybe not against a production server, if you have any doubts, but hopefully you have a staging or dev server, right? :-)
I would like to add that SQL Everywhere by Atlantis Interactive (free) has a handy active processes viewer: http://www.atlantis-...
# Posted By arthur | 11/29/10 2:47 PM
Thanks for that, Arthur.

I've also now added the tool (and its related free Data Surf and Schema Surf tools) to my CF411.com list of DB query/explore tools: http://www.cf411.com...
As an update to this post from 10 years ago, there is also a Performance Dashboard for SQL Server 2016, 2014, and 2012. More here: https://blogs.msdn.m...
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